We recently had a virtual chat with the Unboxy Design Team, who developed Unboxy from concept into reality alongside researchers, educators and fabricators to ensure Unboxy was an efficient and effective classroom intervention.
1. How did Unboxy begin?
A team of staff at Y2 Architecture were initially looking into activities to support staff connectivity, wellbeing and creativity within a remote working environment. This quickly evolved into collaborating on a project that could give back to the community, by supporting students and educators affected by the stresses of COVID. We aimed to help students transitioning from remote learning to back to school environments, by offering Unboxy to ease anxieties associated with loss of school community and routine, while also revitalising collaborative and problem-solving interactions.
2. What were the guiding principles that drove the design?
It was creating a product and activity that is accessible to all, regardless of skill set, confidence or creativity level. A product that is adaptable to individual responses and supports communication, creativity, teamwork and empathy.
Opportunity through simplicity. It was a given that the product needs to be simple so as to keep it accessible to all. What was less obvious was that the more functions we added, the less agency we gave the users to explore their own ambitions. This is the crux of Unboxy, our excitement and drive comes from seeing how people will use and misuse these parts to create something inventive, unique and even hopefully a little weird.
3. What are your hopes for Unboxy?
We hope Unboxy sparks little moments of authentic play, creativity, joy, imagination, challenge, collaboration, expression, and essential peer interactions and bonding required to sustain a sense of wellbeing and belonging.
4. What did you manage to create with the Unboxy kit? What do you hope to see others create?
A few of the Unboxy Design team members were able to build tunnels, shelters, small walls and a whole heap of random geometric shapes. The Design team hopes to see users benefit from the process of Unboxy. The final physical outcome isn't necessarily our biggest driver for success.